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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rudbeckia Love

I figure I'd better write this post, as the rudbeckia flowers are mostly drying in situ as the plants watch the summer-ish sun wane into October.  Really, already?

There was a nice lush crop of Rudbeckia hirta this year.  And, if you get easily sick of seeing images of big golden daisies, you'd better turn back now.

I believe the heat and humidity suits them, so there was a point where the strong hairy stalks and flowers overhead formed a sort of daisy forest for a two foot person.

Among the insects found among the rudbeckia were these longhorned bees, an unidentified species of tribe Eucerini.  A new species (although I don't actually know the species) to me, these bees were difficult to photograph despite being present in large numbers during July and August.

They are fast flyers and flighty feeders, stopping only briefly on a flower after agonizingly long minutes of back and forth reconnaissance of said flower.

There were honeybees

and other bees.

A large milkweed bug nymph has wandered away from its aggregation group to pause on a golden petal

and a young grasshopper (schistocerca nitens) poses and then is joined by but doesn't seem so sure of a green bottle fly.

Rudbeckia flowers can be left to dry on the plants, or you can let them begin to dry then cut them and finish drying in a protected location.  Bunches of the withered blooms will look dandy on my holiday table.

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